June 17, 2013 in Blog

Fender’s Acoustic Custom Shop

fasc1When it comes to guitars, amplifiers, and a variety of other stringed instruments, the name Fender has become a benchmark by which others in the industry are measured. Fender Musical Instruments Company has its headquarters in Scottsdale, Arizone, but its reach and influence goes beyond its geography, transcending musical styles and touching many generations of music lovers and performers.

Since its founding in 1946 by Leo Fender, the company has been the leader in the conception and manufacturing of popular guitars, basses, banjos, mandolins, violins, and guitar amplifiers. Much of that magic happens at their two manufacturing centers in California and Mexico, but a new facility was more recently opened. The Fender Acoustic Custom Shop in New Hartford, Connecticut is where the best guitar company in the world is making its best acoustic guitars these days.

In recent years, Fender’s acoustic guitar line has been sourced mostly from overseas and within a limited, affordable price range. The Acoustic Custom Shop aims to recapture the innovation of acoustic guitars that was seen from Fender in its early years.

The goal for the Fender Acoustic Custom Shop is to produce exceptional quality guitars that showcase the unmistakable workmanship and style of the Fender name. The company is planning to accomplish this by hiring some of the most gifted and experienced luthiers in the world.

The Builders

Tim Shaw started playing and performing the guitar at a young age. He had his first guitar at the age of 13, and two years later he was playing an electric bass. He didn’t just learn to play at a young age either, he also acquired skills in repairing guitars. He has many years of experience working with Gibson and other guitar shops and factories. This talented musician and luthier holds patents for many pickups designed for both acoustic and electric guitars. Shaw is one of the leading design innovators for the Fender Acoustic Custom Shop.

Ren Ferguson is a self taught guitar repairman. Growing up in southern California, he honed his guitar repair skills by working on travel-damaged guitars around the Los Angeles International Airport area. He would purchase the damaged instruments for less than the cost of repair, then surgically take them apart to figure out how everything worked inside. He also experimented with mandolins, banjos, and other instruments. Ferguson had his own luthier in the 1970s and also worked with Flatiron Mandolin Company and Gibson. In 2012, he became the R&D Chief Acoustic Engineer for Fender.

The Guitars

facsThe Fender Acoustic Custom Shop offeres three series of acoustic guitars, each brings something a little different to the table.

The Pro Custom Series

The Pro Custom Series offers professional quality, hand-crafted traditional acoustic guitars. The list prices on these guitars generally range from $2,500 to $4000.

The Collector Custom Series

The Collector Custom Series combines the quality of a hand-made Fender guitar with the design of a modern artist. Each guitar in this collection is a one-of-a-kind piece of art. The artists Fender use include Melanie Steinway, Sara Ray, Joe Wood, and Kingman “C” D. Donny. Fender lists each of these guitars at $5,500.

The Master Designed Series

The Master Designed Series offer the very best of the best in acoustic guitars. Each guitar is hand made by Fender’s best luthiers using on the the absolute best quality parts. Fender currently offers the Traditional Triple “O” model and the Newporter model. Both guitars are listed at $5,500.

Share FenderRocks

Posted by and tagged as

Leave a Reply